Electronic Cigarettes Face State DAs Who Want Strong Federal Regulations

(WREG-TV) A new smoking trend has nearly 2 million teens trying it out.  They’re picking up E-cigs, which are battery-operated vapor cigarettes.

The availability of nicotine in E-cigs has attorney generals across the country, including all three here in the Mid-South, calling for federal regulation.

The legal age to smoke is 18, but that didn’t stop 22-year-old Ashley Patrick when she started the habit at 15.

“Anybody would buy them for me,” she said.

That was long after Joe Camel and other logos were banned because they might entice children to smoke.

A cartoon camel didn’t lure her to light up.

“My whole family smoked so I saw it all the time. and then once I started you get hooked on it nicotine you need to have that fix.”

With cutesy flavors like cotton candy, root beer, and cinnamon red hot, lawmakers are worried the trendy E-cigs are luring teens to smoke.

E-cigs range in nicotine levels from high to none at all.

Sheila Harrell, runs smoking cessation clases for the Church Health Centers.

She said E-cigs may slow down the nicotine input, but there are more things involved to quitting smoking.

“One of the members said ‘what are you doing to break this?’ You’re still holding on to that hand-to-mouth habit.”

Ashley says teenagers will always find someone to buy cigarettes for them

“If this looks cool to them they’re like ‘oh it’s not a cig I’ll just use that,’ but you’re getting addicted either way I’m still getting my fix of nicotine.”


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